I’m an INTJ woman, who is also Highly Sensitive (HSP). I was tested as an INTJ at the university careers centre, but only really started to understand what it meant 15 years ago; while 5 years ago I was told I was an HSP by my counsellor who also happens to be an HSP expert. I was in no doubt that I was both of these things, but they aren’t exactly natural bedfellows. INTJs have a reputation for being unfeeling robots, with no social skills, who are a combination of Sheldon and Dr House (we aren’t but more about that later)/ While Google HSP and you see people talking about being empaths, psychic abilities, horoscopes, crystals, and illustrated with photos of someone on their own, looking wan and pained (and not all of us are like that either).
See, there is a lot of grey area about being both an INTJ and HSP, and even with all the help of someone who knows far more than I ever could about being an HSP, I still had problems getting to grips with what it means to be sensitive. The more information I tried to find outside of my counselling sessions, the less it sounded like me. The amount of disinformation about being an HSP is suffocating any real meaning of what the term means, and when it is discussed, the loudest voices are of those who only represent a small section of the HSP community. I know that if I went by what I read on the internet, I would have dismissed any idea of being sensitive and missed out on unravelling a key part of my life – and I know I am not on my own.
So I am going to do my best to ask some questions, shed some light on and dispel some myths, while sharing some of my understanding of what it means to be a thinking HSP.